BLOG 214 August 18, 2014
The Western world has an important stake in understanding how terrorists operate and where they are going. The threats from ISIS to attack America only heightens the concern that citizens in the USA have about these murderous assault forces. It has been estimated that there are at least 30,000 jihadi fighters in Syria alone. The Al-Qaida movement continues to spawn clones and we need all the information possible on what comes next.
Matters have not gone well for Al-Qaida as of late and even they have rejected the ISIS movement as too violent. The so-called “Arab Spring” put a dent in their strategy that claimed only violence could bring real change. The quest from the populous for greater freedom also slowed their wagon. Today Bin Laden’s successor Ayman Zawahiri is no more than a shadow of the past. However, the Islamic terrorists in other areas have not slowed down.
In fact, the recent military advances of ISIS have even spread concern in Hezbollah, itself a terrorist organization. Leaders of Hezbollah last week described the radical Isalmist movement as a “monster” that could threaten Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other gulf states. Hezbollah’s leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah claimed that only Hezbollah kept ISIS from invading Lebanon and pushing to the ocean.Of course Hezbollah has been fighting for Assad in Syria and is backed by Shi’ite Muslim Iran. Recently, Saudi Arabia deployed 30,000 soliders to its borders with Iraq. Saudi Arabia is a Sunni Muslim monarch and has been silently supporting the uprising in Syria. The differences between Sunnis and Shi’ites appear insignificant to the West, but they are major factors in the Middle East struggle as the continue killing each other.
Hamas is caught up in the tangle of “who-is-fighting-who” for “what.” Heavily financed by the Gulf Arab state of Qatar of only 2 million people, Hamas received funds through the Muslim Brotherhood movement that viewed Hamas as a Palestinian branch. Sunni oriented Qatar views Shi’ite Iran as its greatest advesary and wants to keep the Iranians off their turf. Consequently, Qatar wants to keep Hamas in the Sunni camp and away from Iran. In the midst of this confusion now comes Turkey and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan helping to finance Hamas.
Because Hamas voiced support for Assad’s Syria, they were forced to move out of Damascus and as a result Iran lowered their support for Hamas. The merry-go-round keeps spinning. Sound confusing? It is.
The fundamental issue remains religious differences and where best to pour those billions from oil production to keep the pot boiling.
Now Hama has its back to the wall in Gaza. The Muslim Brotherhood was smashed in Egypt and they are defeated in the Gaza Strip. (Regardless of what they claim.) Unless they agree to a negotiated settlement, the cease fire ended August 18. The PLO and other Arab groups want a settlement; Hamas operates with a suicide mentality. Because Israel won’t budge, Hama is about to get wacked again. Currently, Israel appears to have no strategy for how they will control the Gaza area: dominate it, de-militarize it, turn it back to the PLO. In an usual move, the European Union condemned Hamas for using citizens as human shields. The foreign ministers of Germany, France, and Italy harshly condemned pro-Palestinian demonstrators. Not good news for Hamas.
Where does Hamas go from here? They won’t quit, but they don’t have much to go on.